The Establishment of the “Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland” and its Main Activities
The Reichsvereinigung (National Union of Jews in Germany) debated much and carried out little. It was established in 1933 as an umbrella organization for German Jewish communities so that the Nazi regime could organize the activities of the communities. This plan was never realized. The function of the Union depended on the cooperation of the various local communities, which was not always forthcoming, especially from the larger Berlin and Prussian communities. The aims of the Union did not include migration. The pogrom of November 1938 together with the plunder and deportation of Jews in Austria alerted the Jews to the dangers facing them. Heydrich, following Goering’s instructions, set up a compulsory general organization to be chaired by Rabbi Leo Baeck to step up migration and welfare activities. The Gestapo, when put in charge of Jewish affairs, included converts and offspring of mixed marriages, for the first time, in their definition of Jews. Education in Jewish schools and finance also came under the control of the Gestapo. The Reichsvereinigung was dissolved in June 1943, when less than 10,000 Jews remained in Germany.